Maybe if madeleines aroused in me an involuntary memory from my childhood as they did for Proust, I would experience an exquisite pleasure when eating them. But I grew up in New England in the 1950’s and 60’s. We didn’t have madeleines. The closest thing we had were packaged ladyfingers that my mother would sometimes serve with pudding made from a mix. Not that I didn’t like ladyfingers, especially with pudding to offset their dryness. I’m a little in awe that my mother served dessert every day after dinner, and I can completely see how dressing up some instant pudding with packaged ladyfingers made her life a little easier.
I baked these madeleines from the recipe in Baking With Julia, contributed by Flo Braker (the baker) and based on a genoise batter used to make either ladyfingers or madeleines. Frankly I find them a bit boring and wish that I had added some additional flavor, like lemon zest or ground almonds or cocoa – next time. I have two miniature madeleine pans which each make twenty tiny cookies. The recipe made enough batter to fill the tins twice, so I baked eighty mini-madeleines and will need to freeze some for another day.
The recipe called for buttering and flouring the pans, and that is what I did for the first batch. Some of the Tuesdays With Dorie bloggers mentioned that they had always brushed their pans with melted butter, so I tried that with the second batch. Although both batches were a little stubborn coming out of the molds, the first batch (butter and flour) came out more easily.
You can find the recipe on pages 333-334 of Baking With Julia or on Katie and Amy’s blog, Counter Dog. Now I’m going to go freeze half of these cute little cakes…or maybe I’ll serve them with some pudding tomorrow.